Friday, February 26, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

A message from our Superintendent, Sue Charochak, went out via email on Thursday afternoon and is replicated here for your reference:

Good Afternoon Beverly School Community,

I am writing to you today with an update regarding our District Reopening planning process. On February 24th, the School Committee met to begin considering options to increase in person learning as part of the transition to a return to full in person learning in Beverly. Our goal throughout the year has consistently been the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings. We cannot underscore the benefits of attending school in person and the positive impact it has on students’ mental and social emotional health.

In considering all options, the district is engaged in consultation with our local public health experts, including the Beverly Public Health Department, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the state Department of Public Health. The Beverly school community, staff, students, parents and families, have all been vigilant in implementing all our key mitigation strategies including face coverings, distancing, hand hygiene, and staying home when you are experiencing symptoms or have had a risk of exposure. We will continue to work together to ensure these standards are met and that we are doing everything we can as a district to keep students and staff safe and healthy.

Our next step is to survey parents and staff to better understand their preferences moving forward with respect to in-person learning models. We acknowledge that parents value in-person learning and are also cognizant of the importance of protecting the health of our staff and students, which has been our paramount concern over the last year and will remain so going forward. Parents that have elected to participate in the Remote Learning Academy will have the opportunity to remain in that model through the end of the school year.

Yesterday’s announcement by the state’s Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jeffrey Riley, served as an affirmation of our goal to expand in-person learning. Beverly has addressed the challenges of this pandemic from the beginning with the closure in March of 2020, finding innovative ways to keep students engaged in their learning. We are committed to that same innovative approach in the next phase, our transition to full-time in-person learning. We will continue to work collaboratively with all of our stakeholders — teachers, students, staff, families, healthcare providers and public health experts — to safely expand in-person learning, and we will make every effort to keep you all engaged and informed throughout this process.

Sue Charochak, Ed.D.